resilience reporter

resilience starts with information

When an Earthquake Hits Next Door

Raised stepping stones allow Dutch bridge to remain accessible during a flood

stepping stope

“Once the water reached its peak, five metres higher than usual, even the stepping stones were out of action. But while the water was still rising, many people were able to access the bridge and enjoy the natural spectacle.” Photograph is by Jan Daanen

Rising water levels don’t cause many problems for this bridge in the Dutch city of Nijmegen – it can still be accessed even when the path on either side is flooded, thanks to a series of concrete stepping stones.  Next Architects and H+N+S Landscape Architects teamed up on the design of Zalige Bridge, which forms part of a pathway across a park on the banks of the Waal river.

Rather than lifting the surface of the bridge above the floodplain, the designers decided to embrace the water. So when the water level rises, sections of the pathway on either side of the bridge become fully submerged…


When an Earthquake Hits Next Door

Most days, it’s easy to forget that coastal California sits at the boundary of two tectonic plates—the Pacific and North American—which are slowly sliding by each other, creating the San Andreas complex of faults. It’s easy to forget that one strand, the Hayward Fault, runs the whole length of the East Bay, cutting under Berkeley and Oakland, just a mile from my house, and that there is a one-in-three chance that it will produce a devastating earthquake before I’m a senior citizen.

But then there are days like January 4, when a magnitude 4.4 quake struck. It hit in the evening, a couple hours after my wife and I had put the kids to bed. It was strong enough to make us wonder, for a few seconds, if this was the big one.

After it passed, we resolved to get another flashlight. My wife ordered MREs from a prepper site. A few days later, she sent me a map from the U.S. Geological Survey showing the epicenter of the earthquake. It was two blocks from our house. I rode my bike over to the location. By the looks of it, the quake…

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